Can yours be as successful as Washington State's Freedom Movement?Submitted by free.alive on Wed, 02/04/2009 - 17:47
If you're curious how this happened, read on. By the way, the answer to the title question is a resounding YES!
Washington State is a leader, if not the leader, in the Freedom Movement by many metrics. The point of saying this is not to beat our collective chest, but to offer insight into what has made us (relatively) successful, and to highlight how we plan to grow into a real fighting force.
Aside from the many individual personalities who work so hard to make things happen in Washington, all the successes of the Washington liberty activists to this date are due to the fact that, especially in the larger counties, Campaign for Liberty members, freedom advocates and other fans of Ron Paul have been organized on the county and legislative district level. Washington State is currently only six precinct leaders behind Texas, which is currently leading the nation. This puts Washington proportionally at the top of the heap.
It all started at the Feb 9 caucuses when, although only attaining third place, the Ron Paul campaign activists weren't far out of first since the caucus total were split nearly evenly four ways between Paul, Romney, Huckabee and, most unfortunately, McCain. They proceeded to increase their percentages at the county conventions, winning several outright, and nearly took over the WSRP state convention, forcing a walk-out of the McCain delegates in order to shut down debate. This soured the relationship between the freedom advocates and the GOP for some time.
The end result was that Washington was one of the handful of states to have delegates vote for him at the RNC convention, in both a proud triumph for Liberty and a protesting lament against the nominee, John McCain, who has already begun to betray the majority of his party's base in calling for support of the Obama regime.
Eventually, the grassroots enthusiasm and a commitment to take up Ron Paul's cause within the Republican Party, has allowed the freedom advocates to make great strides within the Washington GOP, either taking entirely or partially the leadership of some very important counties. With a few hold-outs, the GOP in WA has largely been able to make peace and friends with the new (and not-so-new) Republicans and make strides toward unifying and building the party with the hopes of overcoming a very Left-wing Democrat near-supermajority in the state legislature.
Most recently, the liberty activists have turned their eye on Olympia. They are not only seeking to promote and advance good legislation, but to also block some terrible pieces of legislation that are looming. The most recent victory was Friday in Olympia where liberty activist came from all over the state to oppose an environmental bill that would have empowered the state government in taking control of many aspects of the economy and private life.
Many other states have had successes, but I would feel confident asserting that Washington State has made the greatest strides by the most metrics of any state since February 2007 to grow a viable and effective Freedom Movement. My challenge to you and the liberty activists in your state is to:
Coordinate your state at the Congressional District, County and Legislative District levels.
Re-id all the former Paul supporters and recent CFL members in each locale.
Develop committees within your county groups that focus on specific tasks your groups must do to advance liberty locally.
Pick a party, and engage. Get your members elected to the lowest level, precinct chairman, ward officer, precinct committee officer, etc.
Then get these people to support some of their members in gaining leadership positions within the party so as to make liberty to central agenda of the party.
Get in plugged in with your local JBS chapters and find out what they're doing - they're probably advocating the same cause your groups are!
Get legislation introduced.
Develop organizational structures to facilitate the advocacy of good legislation and challenges to bad legislation.
Lay out an agenda to both advance liberty and attract new members. This is likely going to be done by building a coalition with another group, and is most easily done if you start by having the state CFL chapter help (and take some credit for helping) with something your coalition partners are already doing that you agree with.
Lastly, dissuade your members from focusing on conspiracy theories and other things that are out of your scope of potential influence. These will only perpetuate a sense of hopelessness among your members and you'll get nothing done because of it. Focus on what you can do, not what you can't!
Take baby steps and stay focused on organizing locally. If your county groups are strong, it will be easier to stay connected with other county groups and you'll be much stronger and better able to actually coordinate state-wide. WA CFL set out its state-wide agenda on Saturday, and the plans include actions to both grow our group, build coalitions and advance our most prized of goals: Sound Money. However, there are fewer than 5 main items on our state-wide agend, and you should keep yours simple, too.
So I present to you a competition, a friendly one. If we as the Feedom Movement within the various states are continually trying to out-do each other, then we'll make the greatest strides toward liberty nationally, and we'll create our own opportunity to get a good President elected for once - one who will limit their powers to protecting and preserving the Constitution and promoting individual liberty!